Emergent India, Urban Planning

Urban Regeneration – The need of the hour

Every city has pockets of underused and underutilized land or distressed and decaying urban areas. These pockets ofUrban Regeneration - The need of the hour underused land weaken the city’s image, livability & productivity. They’re usually the result of changes in the urban growth and productivity patterns and thus urban regeneration is very vital.

Urban Regeneration – overview

To tackle the issue of urban decay, these cities around the world have designed complex processes of urban regeneration. Rarely urban revitalization projects are implemented solely by the public sector. The need for massive financial resources is one factor. However, even if the government could provide the necessary resources for regenerating urban land, the buy in from the community & business sector is needed to ensure the sustainability of any regeneration efforts. Consequently, participation of the private sector is a determining factor in success of regeneration of underutilized urban land.

To this end, this volume builds on the experience of eight case studies from around the globe. They successfully used their land assets & regulatory powers to leverage and incentivize private participation in urban regeneration. The cases vary in the institutional land political context, policy & regulatory tools used, and the extent of community participation and governance structure. Moreover, what they have in common is significant private sector participation in the regeneration & rehabilitation of decaying urban areas.

To help in identifying the sequence of actions needed for a regeneration process, this guidebook identifies 4 distinct phases: scoping, planning, financing, & implementation. Each phase includes a set of unique tools that local governments can use to systematically design a regeneration process.

The Four Phases of Urban Regeneration

Envisioning Change: The Scoping Phase

A transformational urban regeneration process, either for the city as a whole or for a specific land parcel—starts with a scoping exercise. Scoping is a process, which provides decision makers with a strategic assessment to identify and promote regeneration. Scoping provides an analytical foundation and engagement process that the city leaders can use. It can also be used to generate choices and to debate and decide on the best course of action. A sound scoping process supplies city leaders with analytical tools to confront issues facing the city. Issues that are vital to the city’s future, to make strategic decisions on the direction they want their city to pursue.

Scoping is both forward looking and backward looking. It’s forward looking by analyzing what is required for the city and regeneration area to be successful in the future. Backward looking in understanding the city’s history and the unique “DNA” of the city that are precedent for prudent action and can be capitalized on.

Urban Regeneration - The need of the hourDesigning a Web of Actions and Institutions: The Planning Phase  

While scoping phase provides an analytical foundation and an overarching rationale and narrative for the regeneration project, the planning framework establishes the long-term vision and context. It’s vital to sustaining the regeneration vision through the inevitable changes and unforeseen challenges of market and political cycles. However, it’s equally important not to create an overly strict planning structure, which rigidly regulates the outcomes as it discourages private investment. An effective planning framework will balance vision, planning principles & facilitates negotiation amongst the public, private and community sectors.

A sound planning framework couples an inspiring vision with a clear regulatory process. Moreover, this’ll provideUrban Regeneration - The need of the hour the private sector with the assurance to invest and take risk. Also, it’ll assures communities that public goals will be achieved and not subordinated purely to the dictates of the market. Using the findings in the scoping section, the planning phase of a regeneration process starts with laying out the foundation. It starts with how to prepare for the planning process. The planning phase must detail all the vital elements or assets of the regeneration project. Details including land, community, and the environmental issues must be there during the planning.

In our next log we’ll talk about the remaining phases, till then keep yourself updated and like us on our Facebook page HomesInfra.